Cancer is a difficult battle to overcome and is even more challenging when you’re a child, adolescent or young adult. Cancer patients are usually split into 2 groups; children and adults. This is because the needs of children vary greatly.
Professor Alan Davidson is the Head of Haemotology (the branch of medicine involving the study and treatment of blood) and Oncology (the study and treatment of tumours and cancer) at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
Prof. Davidson says that teenagers in paediatric units struggle with crying babies and other factors that doesn’t recognise their need to have some independence. Other adolescents and young adults in adult units are equally vulnerable because their circumstances in these adult units aren’t set up to deal with their psychological and social needs.
Ari’s Cancer Foundation
Ari’s Cancer Foundation which is based in Cape Town was inspired by Ariana Jansen who lost her battle to cancer at 24 years old. The foundation designed and developed a youth booth which is made to entertain and to keep adolescents and young people busy while they’re receiving treatment at Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Youth Booth
Officially launched on 24 May 2016, the R70 000 Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Youth Booth provide a safe and comfortable recreational area and workstation. The idea is that this portable booth is a space that the young people receiving treatment can call their own and escape from their condition while they’re in hospital.
“The idea is to give young adults a comfortable area to relax and be entertained while they are undergoing treatment at the hospital. This area is also designed to inspire the type of colourful and positive energy that we hope to give to the young adults, rather than a typical scenario where they tend to be consumed with the negative thoughts of the treatment.” said Alan Jansen from the Ari’s Cancer Foundation.
Ari’s Cancer Foundation aims to set up similar AYA Youth Booths in Oncology Units around South Africa.
More about the booth
The youth booth is mobile and can be moved around the wards to where it is needed. The booth can be used by more than one patient at a time.
The relaxation pod has:
- an iPad connected to the booth and patients can use it to play games, browse the internet and stay connected on social media.
- WiFi in the booth to connect to the internet.
- a workstation with a computer so that they can work on homework or projects if necessary.
- plenty of shelf space for books and magazines.
Who to contact
For more information about the Youth Booth or Ari’s Cancer Foundation you can contact them through their online form
For more information about Red Cross Children’s Hospital contact:
Tel: 021 658 5448